Hello Dear Reader,
I was asked yesterday, if I budget for household ‘things’. In truth, I budget for everything. We have four free, non charging bank accounts between us. We have a list of direct debits that go out monthly: mortgage, water, gas, electricity, unions, TV licence, broadband and phone. We save to pay some bills annually: car tax, car insurance, life insurance, boiler insurance and car break down cover – we set aside money for those every month and direct debit a set amount each into a savings account for this. We then set aside money for savings, we use 25% of our income for this, unless SHTF – we don’t touch it!!! If something breaks down, we get it repaired or DB repairs it. Our ‘household items’ such as curtains and bedding are homemade. Furniture is second hand and will never need replacing in our life time. We saved for major renovations as the doors were rotten and not secure and the kitchen was in need of a make over, even then we didn’t replace but revamped with new worktops and new tiles. Our son fitted them, the doors and windows with no charge for his services. When our Dyson broke down we freecycled for parts and got one with a burnt out motor and put the motor from ours into it.
Other, household items? Clothes? I buy some new once every other year and spend around £100. I buy a new pair of shoes a year which costs around £25. Towels and bedding come from car boot sales and charity shops. Quilts are homemade.
I have short, medium and long term saving plans and I also over pay my mortgage. I aim to pay off another 10% of the balance this year and hopefully sell up and downsize, with the intention of going to a micro mortgage or mortgage free home, as and when the economy allows. Until then, I throw every spare penny at the mortgage. Debt, is debt, is debt and I’m pissing away money every month on interest and the sooner I pay it off, the sooner I will have money to actually live on.
I hope that answered the question, feel free to ask what you like. If I feel like it, I’ll answer. Now back to the good old fashioned frugal favourites. If you are well fed, you will be a lot happier. I watched ’15 and counting’ last night. One poor mum, who was at the end of her tether was coping with her own children, her step children and her sister’s children. I wanted to get in the TV and give the poor girl a hand. We saw her shopping, I didn’t want to put her down, she was doing her best. But I really wanted to help her budget with homemade food and get her kids motivated to do something to help their mum. A quiche in the supermarket will cost about £2.50, it will be tiny, tasteless and full of junk, fat, salt and even sugar. Homemade is so much cheaper.
A lovely treat is a homemade dessert. I have some retro jelly/pudding pots that I picked up at a jumble sale last year, 10p for 4! I stocked up last year on some Green’s creme caramel mix, so I can make 4 for 20p. I use UHT skimmed milk. Just follow the instructions on the packet. It’s simple enough, but the good old fashioned original ‘Tupperware’ creates the most incredible dessert.
I always buy a couple of packs of ‘bacon pieces’ or ‘cooking bacon’ which has now gone up to 78p for 500g. I use it in meat loaf, faggots and of course, quiche. This quiche has leeks, bacon, 100g of grated cheese, some skimmed milk and six eggs. It was 12″ in diameter and will cut easily into ten portions. I always portion before I freeze, so we can just pull some out of the freezer for our lunch boxes.
Keep your eyes open for old Tupperware. It beats the current rubbish hands down. It lasts, it’s incredibly well made and some of it is really quirky. I have a wonderful beige and brown milk jug, with a snap on lid, which fits perfectly into the fridge door. Another jumble sale find for 10p!
How do you budget? I know some of you take out cash and have an envelope system. Have you got any good old fashioned frugal favourites, whether that’s food or a jumble sale find?
Over to you xx